|The blackened living room in front of the kitchen where the fire started in a residential house on Xuân Đỉnh Street, North Từ Liêm District, northwest of Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Four members of a family were found dead from inhaling smoke in an early morning fire that broke out today in Hà Nội.
The fire took place in a four-storey house in a small alley on Xuân Đỉnh Street in the urban district of North Từ Liêm, located northwest of Hà Nội.
The deceased are Văn Trọng Bộ, born in 1966, and his wife Hoàng Thị Hoa, born in 1968. Their two children -- Văn Trọng Hoàng, 26, and his younger sibling Văn Thảo Nga, 18, also perished in the fire.
An electrical short-circuit in the family’s refrigerator in the kitchen on the first floor could be the cause of the fire, according to firefighting authorities.
At the time of fire, the four victims were sleeping on the third floor.
Neighbours detected fire and smoke billowing from inside the house and called the firefighters. However, it took the residents and firefighters some 20 minutes to break through the thick, tightly-locked front iron gates to get inside, one of victims’ neighbor told the Vietnam News Agency.
The fire was put out completely in less than 10 minutes, but the victims had already reportedly died from smoke inhalation.
“It’s likely that because of the enclosed narrow space, just 10sq.m. on the first floor where the fire started, all the resulting smoke rose up to the floor where the victims were sleeping unaware,” Lê Chí Cao, head of the firefighting police in charge of the area, told Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) Online. — VNS